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NBC's Schedule: From Supersizing to Superseries

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Wait ’til next year: FNL comes back. / NBC Photo: Bill Records

NBC just zapped us their fall schedule. In: five new dramas and one new sitcom. Out: Studio 60 (not too surprisingly); pretty much everything that debuted midseason (Andy Barker, Raines, Black Donnellys); Law & Order: Criminal Intent (actually, it’s being shipped off to USA network). Returning: Among others, Scrubs and Friday Night Lights. (On Friday nights! Who’d’a thunk?)

Maybe the most unusual development: making hit series extra-long. Heroes is being spun off, kind of, into the 6 episodes of Heroes: Origins, which will air while the mothership goes on hiatus. (I know you want details–I don’t have many but will follow up after the upfront show today.) Also, The Office gets an order of 30 half-hours, to include 5 hourlong episodes.

Two related, yet contradictory trends in TV today: declining viewership, and fewer reruns. How does the biz plan to pay for all this new material? I’m not sure–DVDs and iTunes are no cure-all yet–but I advise anyone in the TV production business to stuff the money into their pockets, and for you to enjoy the largesse of original shows, while it lasts.

Here’s NBC’s schedule. I’ll post my report on the afternoon dog-and-pony show at Radio City Music Hall (including descrips of the new series) tonight or tomorrow:


*New programs in CAPS (with the exception of “ER”)

8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “Heroes”
10-11 p.m. “JOURNEYMAN”

8-9 p.m. “The Biggest Loser”
9-10 p.m. “CHUCK”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “BIONIC WOMAN”
10-11 p.m. “LIFE”

8-8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl”
8:30-9 p.m. “30 Rock”
9-9:30 p.m. “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. “Scrubs”
10-11 p.m. “ER”

8-9 p.m. “1 vs 100″/”THE SINGING BEE”
9-10 p.m. “Las Vegas”
10-11 p.m. “Friday Night Lights”

8-9 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
9-11 p.m. Drama Series Encores

SUNDAY (Fall 2007)
7-8 p.m. “Football Night in America”
8-11 p.m. “NBC Sunday Night Football”

SUNDAY (January 2008)
7-8 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
8-9 p.m. “Law & Order”
9-10 p.m. “Medium”
10-11 p.m. “LIPSTICK JUNGLE”